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Puerto Vallarta: The Diamond Proposal

I

was truly excited to stumble on this exclusive adult destination, the Villa Premiere Boutique Hotel & Romantic Getaway in Puerto Vallarta. I was skeptical at first. We’ve all heard the stories about touching down at Ordaz International Airport and immediately being thrown into the timeshare zone with offers of gratis shots of tequila and discount taxi guides. But a call ahead to the hotel ensured our personal greeting was in place and that we had a safe and secure luxury ride.

 Although I grew up beach adjacent, I always imagined Puerto Vallarta and its green turquoise seawaters located in Mexico’s Jalisco state on the Pacific Coast. Blame it on the movies and Hollywood, I guess. Puerto Vallarta was the stuff of Hollywood folklore well into the 1970s. There were stories of film legends Elizabeth Taylor, Ava Gardner and Richard Burton taking over Banderas Bay to film what would be a classic: “The Night of the Iguana.” Then, Taylor and Burton fell in love with each other and bought a second home there and Puerto Vallarta forever became a North American hot spot.

Before that serendipitous Hollywood parting of the seas, Puerto Vallarta was a fishing town known for its coconut, banana and corn exports. Now, it relies almost exclusively on importing tourists and hypnotizing them with good times that are surprisingly cost-effective without (in some cases) sacrificing luxury.

Needless to say, the buildup for this trip was a long-time coming and from the moment I stepped on the Villa Premiere grounds, I was engulfed by its enchantment. Helped by its location, the four-diamond getaway hotel sits in the gorgeous sweep of coastline of Puerto Vallarta. It is surrounded by a splendid collection of prominent restaurants that considerably have been visited by foodies in search of creative tables. Some of the finest chefs have found their gem cuisine in Vallarta and brought their skills to this luxuriant haven of tropical paradise overlooking a spread of turquoise waters with stream of seagoing creatures anticipating to being brought to romantic dining experiences.

If two movie stars falling in love under the warm glow of the Mexican sun wasn’t enough to lure me there, those words certainly pushed me over the edge.  But even at the Villa Premiere check-in, the pampering got all of my juices flowing. A flute of Champagne, a refreshing aromatherapy towel, and a neck message finished me off—and picking out my choice of pillow types, room scents and hearing about their yoga mornings didn’t hurt either.

The rooms heighten your romance endorphins. I opted for the Premiere Suite and the atmosphere embodies Mexican influences with Latin romance, elegance and comfort. The sound of the waves played throughout the days and nights to the point where you lose all sight of the stresses that await you back home. Finding a hotel near the ocean where you can hear the waves crashing is quite a find, a rarity of luxury I won’t soon forget. The sound of waves plays symphonic melodies right through your wide view rooms and captures the mood of the tropical setting. There is a feeling of serenity that takes over your existence. I found myself instinctively reaching for my journal and putting poetic thoughts to paper in this romantic getaway sanctuary. Talk about hypnosis.

Although tempting, when you’re visiting a city like Puerto Vallarta, a hotel isn’t the only place where you rest your head, it’s part of what you’ve come to experience. The Villa Premiere situated at the beginning of the Malecon, winds up being a great starting point for walking city excursions.

El Malecon is a promenade, located in the historical center of Puerto Vallarta, it hugs the shore of the Mexican Riviera, stretching through to the Romantic Zone, going through “Los Arcos”. El Malecon is the flashpoint of all activities in Puerta Vallarta with its beautiful views of the bay and the largest concentration of art galleries, restaurants, bars, shops, and commissioned sculpture lining the cobblestone paths. If you’re into art, you’ll want to explore the city’s galleries and boutiques. The unique folk art—everything from ceramics to fine art and blown glass—will immerse you into the rich Mexican culture. Abel Villa, the owner of the Villa Premiere, hosts a regular Art Gallery where he brings in local artisans to the resort where art and sculpture is showcased at a poolside evening of cocktails and entertainment. (Needless to say, I walked away with a couple of pieces.)

If you want art on the dining table, there’s no scarcity of upscale dining spots either. Our culinary wish list guided us to Café des Artists, one of the hottest spots in town. This is where the fusion of French and Mexican cuisine has been perfected by Chef Thierry Blouet (he’s also the owner).

“The philosophy of my kitchen is inspired by the colors, shapes, architectural designs, fashion, sounds, aromas and experiences that go through my mind.

Mixing products of the highest quality, the magic of flavors, spices and the vibrant colors of Mexico is a passion for me,” he says.

If you want art on the dining table, there’s no scarcity of upscale dining spots either. Our culinary wish list guided us to Café des Artists, one of the hottest spots in town. This is where the fusion of French and Mexican cuisine has been perfected by Chef Thierry Blouet (he’s also the owner).

“The philosophy of my kitchen is inspired by the colors, shapes, architectural designs, fashion, sounds, aromas and experiences that go through my mind.

Mixing products of the highest quality, the magic of flavors, spices and the vibrant colors of Mexico is a passion for me,” he says.

The seven-course meal was a tour de force of amazing dining paired with a carefully crafted selection from the over 500 wine labels in-house. The tableside entertainment, set in the manicured jungle of bamboo and indigenous plants, is a standalone reason to visit on its own. The strolling violinist took my request to play Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini and coordinated with the piano accompanist via concealed radio to provide a seamless layer of romance to the evening I won’t soon forget.

As special as the Café des Artists is (and it was indeed), very little will ever top the special by-the bay dinner showcase dreamed up by the Villa Premiere’s very own executive chef Elías Sapien. It was here, at the end of the hotel’s cobblestone pier that extends into the bay, that we were treated as royalty. In one of the most astounding dinners ever indulged. The exclusive menu—worthy of every award imaginable—was the vision of Executive Chef Elias Sapien and comprised from a virtual cornucopia of specialty and savory treats [EDITOR’S NOTE: see gray box below].

Sapien, who honed his art at the Superior School of Gastronomy and Hospitality of Toledo in Spain, says that his passion and love for cooking is rooted in “starting with the freshest food sourced regionally and then adding a layer of fun to make eating as fun as can possibly be.” And fun it was…

Using that philosophy, he showcased himself that night as one of the great culinary artists, taking fun to an entirely new level with the third course. Aptly titled “Go Fishing”, fishbowls filled with shrimp and dry ice were presented tableside, replete with fishing poles that caught our meal at the table. The laughter and friendly shock were only surpassed by the taste of the cuisine (and then the next course).

CHEF’S TABLE by ELIAS SAPIEN at VILLA PREMIERE
BOUTIIQUE HOTEL & ROMANTIC GETAWAY

CHEF’S TABLE by ELIAS SAPIEN at VILLA PREMIERE BOUTIIQUE HOTEL & ROMANTIC GETAWAY

FIRST COURSE

Wine Harvest

  • Red Wine Grapes
  • Carrot and Vanilla
  • Pear and Pink Pepper
  • Hilum Tomato and Cinnamon
  • Blackberry and Pepper
  • Aged Cheddar

SECOND COURSE

Coral Salad with a collection of herbs dressing and traditional Caesar

  • Organic Lettuce
  • Avocado Foam
  • Palm Hearths
  • Artichoke
  • Goat and Parmesan Cheese
  • Organic Cherries
  • Asparagus
  • Wonton Crunchy Cones
  • Walnuts and Pistachio in Flavor Crusts
THIRD COURSE

Go Fishing

  • Grilled Shrimp in 13 Spices
  • Mango and Lime Mix

Grilled Shrimp in 13 Spices + Mango and Lime Mix

FOURTH COURSE

Fish on the Rocks: Mahi Mahi cooked in pink salt rock

  • Sweet Corn Purée
  • Charcoal Ezquite (corn)
  • Achiote and Lime Sauce

FIFTH COURSE

The Cow – Four different cuts of beef with personal grill to cook to your desired heat

Short Rib – Rib Eye – New York – Tenderloin

  • Black Garlic
  • White Truffle
  • Pink Pepper

SIXTH COURSE

Watch out for the Coconut

  • Coconut Gelato (from the palm tree)
  • Banana Bread
  • Pineapple Cream
  • Sweet avocado
  • Pasilla chile pure

SEVENTH COURSE

Traditional Bird Cage

  • Mezcal Cream
  • Smoked salt
  • Caramel Orange pealing
  • Cotija cheese

A Day Away

Las Caletas sits as one of top private beaches in the world, one of those stretches of luxury that is spoken about in hushed tones by those in the know. It seems that no one wants to let this secret out in the open air. But those who do make it there discover a small, natural beauty of a place set on a palm-swaying island in the middle of the calm waters. So secluded and off-the-beaten-path, Las Caletas is accessible only by boat. The Villa Premiere’s staff works closely with Vallarta Adventures laying out a wonderful, exclusive day with an entertaining thirty-minute boat ride from the marina with unlimited drinks delivered to you by their serving staff. The ride also doubles as a panorama tour of the city, perfect views from the other side of the boardwalk.

Here, jungle meets the ocean. Upon arrival, you can choose how you want to spend the day. Hike through the tropical forests for unadulterated relaxation in the shaded hammocks dangling between soaring palms, meet the seals with their trained handlers, swim to your private floating deck, snorkel, Mezcal tasting, or do it all. Hungry? There are ceviches and grilled treats to sample at the private palm-covered restaurants just footsteps from the beach. Whatever your delight, the day is yours to build.

Yoga on the Beach

Relajarse! Welcome to Yoga on the Beach.

 Nature guides the yoga in the private bay front setting at the Villa Premiere. Don’t be shy, beginners are welcome to practice on the mystical Mexican beach with the sprays and sounds of the ocean to invigorate your senses. Breathe deeply, connect your energy with the soul of the sand and celebrate that you are here!

The goal, of course, is to create a magical romantic experience that brings you deeper into your being, relaxes your body and expands your mind. Explore yourself through gentle stretches and exercise that is the core of yoga’s spirituality.

The Diamond Proposal

What would you want from a romantic getaway or wedding destination? Romantic getaways can come in many forms, and I’d like to think that the Villa Premiere has it all covered. Secluded beaches, luxury rooms, private dining, all-inclusive? Done, done, done and done—and then some. Once that diamond proposal arrives, this resort has elevated as one of my favorite romantics to stay in the world, one where you have a generous mix of ambiance and amenities that are sure to up the romance factor.

Destination weddings promise a picture-book beginning to a marriage: vows exchanged on the beach in a spectacular location is the just the recipe to guarantee a wonderful start to your new beginnings. One of the charms of the Villa Premiere is that it’s not too small and not too big. For many from big cities, wedding costs are more expensive at home than elsewhere. Take, for example, New York where the average wedding cost hovers around $65,000. Many destination wedding locations offer an onsite wedding planner included in the cost, so take advantage of this resource.

Consider renting out an entire property for a more intimate, and possibly less expensive, wedding venue. With 80 rooms and suites, you can pick a date where all of your guests can virtually take over and make it your own private estate leading up and through your nuptials. Imagine a spot where every room comes with a sublime Bandera’s Bay view and a private balcony. Imagine not having to worry about a bar tab or the staff who remembers your food preferences or allergies? Imagine that perfect sunset at your leisure every night. Everything from a taste of your most selective wine choices to hosting your big day, a diamond proposal awaits you as you enter this exclusive gem.

This is the Villa Premiere.

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Villa Premiere Boutique Hotel & Romantic Getaway
San Salvador 117, 5 de Diciembre, 48350
Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco., Mexico
Phone: +52 322 226 7040
Reservations: Website

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